Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (File)

DeSantis’ School-Choice Efforts Are Effective As Many Florida Public Schools In Danger Of Closing

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (File)
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (File)

Many of America’s public schools are hammered almost daily by faculty-student sex scandals, students’ out-of-control violence in the hallways, falling and failing standardized test scores, teachers’ unions that seek higher salaries for less work, activists arguing to keep quasi-pornographic books in middle school libraries, and demands to impose DEI on students and teachers.

Yet Politico is worried that some of these institutions in Florida may close because the competition is too good.

Without investigating why the phenomenon is occurring, the outlet expressed concern that the Florida model may spread beyond the state line.

Read: Florida Education Landscape Transformed With Rise Of School Choice, Decline Of Public Schools

As a Politico headline posted Sunday noted, “School choice programs have been wildly successful under [Gov. Ron] DeSantis. Now public schools might close.”

“The Republican governor’s school choice programs may serve as a model for other GOP-leaning states across the country,” Politico lamented.

The conservative website Twitchy pointed out Politico’s handwringing on Monday.

As the piece noted, DeSantis and Republicans in the Legislature “have spent years aggressively turning the state into a haven for school choice. They have been wildly successful, with tens of thousands more children enrolling in private or charter schools or homeschooling.”

“Now as those programs balloon, some of Florida’s largest school districts are facing staggering enrollment declines — and grappling with the possibility of campus closures — as dollars follow the increasing number of parents opting out of traditional public schools.”

Read: Florida Department Of Education Warns Schools Against Using China-Linked Software Tutor

Politico pointed out that Florida’s public schools have about 55,000 fewer students today than when the pandemic hit the state in 2020.

The outlet also offered several examples of beloved schools that may disappear because parents no longer want their children to attend.

“Education officials in some of the state’s largest counties are looking to scale back costs by repurposing or outright closing campuses — including in Broward, Duval, and Miami-Dade counties,” the report continued. “Even as some communities rally to try to save their local public schools, traditional public schools are left with empty seats and budget crunches.”

On the other hand, charter schools, private schools, and homeschooling rosters have recorded a combined growth of about 165,000 kids since 2020.

Other than attributing declining enrollment to the pandemic, Politico does little to explore why parents are leaving the county school systems and why alternatives championed by DeSantis are flourishing.

The slowest they came was a comment by Chris Moya, a charter school lobbyist.

“If your product is better, you’ll be fine,” said Moya. “The problem is, they are a relic of the past — a monopolized system where you have one option. And when parents have options, they vote with their feet.”

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